Tontitown Officials Approve Sewer Service Contract
Springdale City Council Has Final Say On Wastewater Treatment Agreement
By Richard Dean Prudenti
The Morning News
TONTITOWN -- City officials plan to spend up to $6 million constructing sewer lines to carry Tontitown wastewater to the Springdale treatment plant.
Tontitown City Council members Tuesday approved a resolution of intent for selling $6 million in bonds for the first phase of the sewer project.
Businesses and residences near U.S. 412 through Tontitown could have sewer service in a year and a half if construction begins this fall, officials say.
"A lot of work has been going on at city hall" to prepare for this project, said Mayor Paul Maestri, before councilman voted to allow the wastewater lines to connect to the Springdale sewer system.
Springdale service is a temporary solution to Tontitown's wastewater woes. Tontitown must work toward a permanent source of wastewater treatment through either the construction of a Tontitown treatment facility or contracting with a future regional wastewater treatment plant.
Tontitown is a member of two regional wastewater organizations -- Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority and Osage Basin Wastewater District, both planning to build regional treatment facilities on the Osage Creek north of Tontitown.
Council members tabled an ordinance to withdraw from the Osage Basin Wastewater District.
Mick Wagner, chairman of the Tontitown Water and Sewer Commission, recommended staying in the district as "the best business decision" because Osage district is looking to transfer to the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority a permit to discharge treated wastewater into Osage Creek.
"That would save time for the start up of the NACA plant," Wagner said.
Wagner also said Tontitown stands a better chance of receiving back $85,000 it invested in the formation of the Osage district if the city retains voting power alongside two other participating municipalities, Highfill and Cave Springs.
"It's kind of like playing poker, we need to see the next card," Wagner said.
The city could begin construction of sewer lines in about four months, and be connected to the Springdale system in about a year and a half, Wagner said prior to the meeting.